Installation impossible on Debian Live (passwordless root account)

Bug #1547879 reported by ronny on 2016-02-20
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

I am in a team that maintains a Debian Live based distribution for schools and we usually provide backports of important software to our users. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide a backport of hplip because of the following situation:

One characteristic of Debian Live is that root has an empty password and the normal user has sudo rights. With hplip 3.14 (in Debian stable) installation of a HP printer was really easy. We provided a desktop file that called "sudo hp-setup" and everything gets installed, including the proprietary plugins.

As of hplip 3.15 and later this easy installation seems to be impossible:
If hp-setup is called as a normal user, the installation of the plugin asks in a dialog for the root password but does not accept the empty password.
If hp-setup is called via a desktop file with the Exec line "sudo hp-setup" the GUI shows in step 2 a dialog with the info "Please run 'hp-plugin' as normal user to install plug-ins.". Unfortunately, running hp-plugin as a normal user fails because it does not accept the empty root password.
Only if we add the line "Terminal=true" to the desktop file, the plugin installation starts an textual interactive dialog in the terminal in the background. Some tests have shown that our users (school teachers and students) are absolutely overstrained with this situation and mostly fail installing a HP printer at all.

Could you please re-enable the possibility of a simple installation via "sudo hp-setup" or provide any other workflow so that installing HP printers on a Debian Live system becomes feasible again?

Thank you very much


Revision history for this message
ronny (ronny-standtke) wrote :

Starting with hplip version 3.18.12 the situation became even worse. Now there is no workflow where normal users on Debian Live can just start hp-setup and also install the plug-in in the same step. They run into obscure situations and error messages and have to step back and forward to just install an HP printer.

It all seems to be a problem of your custom build password code. Details are on the mailing lists of Debian Live (and Debian Backports), see here:

We maintain an educational distribution that is used by several thousand teachers and students and on behalf of them I thank you very much in advance for fixing this bug.


Ronny Standtke

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